We were far from the shores of England
Far from our children and wives
To play our hand in the Newfoundland
Where the wind cuts like a knife
We were far from the shores of England

We shipped on board the Maryanne
To find a better life
And we walked across the water
When she broke up on the ice
We came ashore in Carbonear
With nothing but our rights
And I wondered if I e'er again
Would see my London lights

We were far from the shores of England
Far from our children and wives
To play our hand in the Newfoundland
Where the wind cuts like a knife
We were far from the shores of England

We spend our days amid the waves
Working water, hook, and twine
We'd go for weeks with blistered cheeks
Waiting for the sun to shine
But as long as the sky hold over us
We will not taste the brine
And we'll curse the cod
With the fear of God
As we haul in every line

We were far from the shores of England
Far from our children and wives
To play our hand in the Newfoundland
Where the wind cuts like a knife
We were far from the shores of England
Far from our native soil
To chase a wish and to hunt the fish
And on the rocks to toil
We were far from the shores of England

Should we find Fortune's Favour
And be spared from the gale
We will live off honest labour
With our hearts as big as sails
If I should die don't bury me
Or leave me to the sea
Send my bones back to my home
Where my spirit can be free

We were far from the shores of England
Far from our children and wives
To play our hand in the Newfoundland
Where the wind cuts like a knife
We were far from the shores of England
Far from our native soil
To chase a wish and to hunt the fish
And on the rocks to toil
We were far from the shores of England




Lyrics submitted by grichardson2, edited by meaning600

England song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI think what Sean McCann achieved with this song was probably what he has been aiming for since he started writing music: to write a piece that has a great lyrical and musical flow and sounds like it belongs in the canon of traditional Newfoundland music. I love the way this piece builds up as it goes, with increased harmonies and instrumentation . . . I just love this song, I think it might be the best Great Big Sea song out there (and that's saying something!).
    EastCoastGuy110on April 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne thing I noticed that a written copy of the lyrics cannot convey is how the singer's accent changes over the course of the song. It's most pronounced in the word "Newfoundland" in the chorus. The first couple of times, it's pronounced New-found-land, but later repetitions change to the modern pronunciation. At the same time, the narrator is becoming more at home in the land he's found himself stranded in. Still, he never gives up on the dream of returning to the land of his birth.
    rampagingpoeton April 09, 2011   Link

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